Being a parent to a young child often means finding a job that allows you to work from home. Fortunately, companies are increasingly accommodating a cultural shift toward telecommuting jobs and work-from-home flexibility for a 21st century workforce in which both parents need and often want to work.
Over the past decade in the United States, the number of telecommuting workers have rocketed 115 per cent — a jump from 1.8 million to 3.9 million people.
To get you started on your job search to fit your unique parenting situation, interests and skills, here are 18 job ideas and businesses that require little to no start-up costs and can be done from home.
College application/financial aid consulting business
College-bound students are often advised to apply to between four to eight schools. So it’s no wonder students require guidance managing the fraught process of selecting the right colleges, gathering application materials, writing essays, scheduling interviews, and meeting application deadlines. That explains why consulting services for private college applications and financial aid planning are booming. From 2003 to 2013, the number of college applicants who used a “private admissions consultant” or independent educational consultant” tripled.
A college application consultant may have a background in guidance counselling, college admissions or teaching – there is no accreditation or degree required except experience and the ability to shape a candidate’s application so that it’s complete, on time and presents candidates to the best of their abilities. Naturally, having an understanding of the college scene and what individual schools can offer and are looking for will help your clients.
There are all kinds of writing and editing, from copy editing to content writing across industries. Not surprisingly, demand is directly related to your experience and areas of expertise. Niche expertise, such as within the aviation industry or blockchain applications in security, can impact your marketability. So define some areas where you already have contacts and knowledge, and make sure you have a website that showcases your best work and features your contact information. (If you don’t have samples of published work, then that’s where you need to start.) The average base pay for a freelance editor is $51,104.
However, if you’re just starting out, there are also freelance writing job boards and marketplaces to advertise your services and look for work, although the competition can be tough, warns Entrepreneur.com contributor John Rampton.
Some places to start looking include the part-time jobs website FlexJobs, which features writing gigs in specific categories, such as gaming, financial or medical writing; Freelanced, a freelancer social network where you can search for jobs and share your portfolio; and FreelanceWritingGigs, which lists freelance writer and editor jobs across a variety of industries.
Transcription jobs can be done remotely — all you need are fast and accurate typing skills, typically 80 words per minute. The average salary for a transcriptionist is $26,882. To get started, you can do a search of “transcription” or “transcriber” on job sites, such as Glassdoor. Or you can register as a freelance transcriber on job marketplace sites, such as TranscribeMe, Go Transcript and Up-Work.
You can specialize in a certain area – medical and legal are two fields where there is always demand. Equipment-wise, you’ll need headphones, a computer and word processing software. Eventually, you may want to invest in a foot pedal, which allows you to stop, rewind and forward the recording quickly.
Typically, accountants are seasonally busy, which means a lot of free time during the rest of the year. As an accountant, you prepare tax returns and reports and stay current on tax regulations and reforms. Tax work clearly isn’t for everyone, but good accountants are always in demand. The skills needed for this job are knowledge of accounting procedures, attention to detail, familiarity (or ability to learn) accounting software and, of course, good math skills.
The median annual salary is $53,994, and while you can work as an accountant with a bachelor’s degree, most states require accountants to be licensed as a Certified Public Accountant.
Grant writers are the backbone of development and non-profit work. They generally work as independent contractors and are “the vital link between a funder and a grant seeker,” with a median salary of $45,483 a year. Another bonus: There’s no certification needed for grant writing, although grant-writing classes are available.
Certain skills are required for this position. Obviously, you need to be a good writer. You’ll be writing what is essentially a proposal for why a funding agency should give money to the organization you are working for. Also, you need to be good at research and getting answers. Many grant applications require particular information on the organization seeking a grant, and the grant writer’s job is to track down the information and present it within the funding agency’s guidelines. Finally, you need to be deadline driven.
Check out these websites to get you started: www.fdncenter.org, www.tgci.com, and www.fundsnetservices.com.
Good news, you don’t need to be a Certified Public Accountant to work as a freelance bookkeeper, but you do need to be resourceful and good with numbers. “You can sign up for a bookkeeping course at a community college or online,” recommends Entrepreneur.com contributor John Rampton. (For example, there’s this free course from the Accounting Coach.) The services that you can offer are providing income statements and creating balance sheets and monthly, quarterly and annual financial reports. What’s more, you can take advantage of free invoicing and online payment tools.
If there’s a particular industry and ideal segment of clientele you’d like to work with, then write down a list of companies and find out if there are contacts you already know in those companies or in the industry who can help you get a foot in the door. The beauty of getting more clients in bookkeeping is that it’s a word-of-mouth and referral dependent field.
Virtual recruiters find, screen and interview job applicants across a variety of industries — technology candidates are in high demand — and recruiting can be done remotely and part-time. Glassdoor reports recruiters make approximately $30 to $40 an hour.
To be a recruiter, you definitely need to have solid communication skills and be able to read people in order to closely match them with jobs and the work culture. While you don’t need a bachelor’s degree for this work, you should have at least an associate’s degree or related experience. Go to any job site and type in “virtual recruiter” to find available positions.